DAVAO CITY: The National Democratic Front of the Philippines in North Eastern Mindanao Region (NDFP-NEMR) has ordered the release of the three cops it held as prisoners of war (POW) since November last year. The decision, according to NDFP-NEMR spokesperson Ka Maria Malaya, was based on the appeals made by the families of PO1 Jorie Amper, PO3 Democrito Polvorosa, and PO1 Marichel Contemplo. Amper was taken by the rebels from Malimono town on November 12, while Polvorosa and Contemplo were taken from Alegria town on November 16. Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who facilitated the release after the relatives of the captives sought his help, received the three POWs in Surigao del Norte Thursday afternoon. “The wives have been asking for my help, my intervention,” Duterte said, “I have told the Communist Party of the Philippines to release the three prisoners if proven that they have not committed blood debt.” Malaya recognized Duterte’s help as she noted that the NDFP decided to forego the normal process of preliminary investigation and a possible trial. Malaya added that the release is a gesture signifying the revolutionary movement’s serious intent of pursuing the peace talks between the NDFP and the national government. The release of the POWs was done with the observance of a 10-day ceasefire which started February 21 to March 2.